Canadian Activists Act Up to Israel’s Blockade in Palestine

by Raya on February 24, 2015 - 12:12am

Last year, the news about the conflict between Palestine and in Israel has been spread out more than ever and became a trending topic on social media, especially Twitter. Israeli militaries killed and bombarded “around 2000 – the majority of them non-combatant according to the United Nations” in summer 2014, according to the Telegraph. Benyamin Netanyahu claims that these bombings were legal because they “were homes to Hamas and Islamic Jihad members”.   

The conflict has been going on since 1920. The origin of the conflict started back when Zionist groups took the territory already inhabited by citizens, claiming that it was their “promised land by God” as described in their sacred writings, where families, politics and economy were slowly developing in Palestine.

In 2007, Israel has created a blockade around Gaza territories where citizens are forbidden of importing and exporting good, medicals and water which leaves them deprived from health care and crucial needs.  

After the lack of news about this conflict, last year was a phenomenal year to finally speak up about it. However, after 94 years, the story finally became viral: it was not a trending subject on the news for many years. But activists have started to protest way before the news was spread all around television and social media.

Canada had a major role in the story starting with many peaceful protests in the cities, especially in Montreal. However, four years ago, exactly in 2011, a campaign called “Canadian Boat to Gaza” planned on sending a boat from Canada, called “Tahrir” that headed to Palestine with medicine and food for citizens. Activists came from all around the world to support the cause: people from Belgium, Australia, Denmark and Turkey supported the cause. Israeli militaries stopped the activists and took all of the goods after they were “kidnapped” and “tasered” according to David Heap, Canadian linguistic professor at University of Western Ontario and former activist on the boat. At the end of the journey, the activists all came back to their home countries.

The contrast between how the news about this story is spread in different newspaper is fascinating. According to the Haaretz, the activists did not have the right papers to get in which was the reason why they were forbidden to enter the country. However, the way that Huffington post tells it is way more detailed: they literally describe Mr. Heap’s experience. It can prove how much the information of a newspaper differs depending on an individual’s opinion on the subject. While the Huffington post was being as objective as possible, the Haaretz newspaper is an Israeli newspaper created by Zionists, which have a completely biased opinion about the conflict and spread the news they want the people to read to shape their reader’s opinions on political subject matters.

The fact that these activists have spoken up proves that this conflict is not a lost cause since there is still humanity and faith, from all around the world. Is it fair for children, elders and women to lose their shelters and their loved ones, to not be able to have proper education and to be vulnerable against Israeli militaries, which are armed and trained to kill? Not only innocent citizens are dying, but mainly war crimes are committed. Activists are the ones that can change one’s perspective, that have the courage to speak their opinion on the news and spread their opinion about human rights. I think that if there were more activists that fight for this matter, we may soon see change and shake things up. If we still continue mentioning this injustice on social media, the world will be speaking about it and be aware of what is happening around the globe. If we spread the word, we may inspire future human rights activists to show their point of view and make a change in a world where news should be more important and less ignored. 

 

Works Cited

“Delegates on board Tahrir June-July 2011.” Canadian Boat to Gaza, 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. http://www.tahrir.ca/content/delegates-board-tahrir-june-july-2011

 “Gaza Flotilla: Canadian Activist ‘Roughed Up’ When Ship Taken Over By Israeli Troops.” Huffington Post, 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/11/05/canadian-activist-roughe_n_1077704.html

“Israel’s Gaza house bombing policy illegal, human rights group says.” Telegraph UK, 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/11372372/Israels-Gaza-house-bombing-policy-illegal-human-rights-group-says.html

“Pro-Palestinian activists withdraw Tahrir ship from Gaza flotilla.” Haaretz, 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/pro-palestinian-activists-withdraw-tahrir-ship-from-gaza-flotilla-1.372385

“Pro-Palestinian March is Peaceful.” Montreal Gazette, 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2015. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/pro-palestinian-march-is-peaceful